A common saying in Nigeria is that the judiciary is the hope of the common man. However, like every other thing in the country, the word has actually lost its value as the judiciary now seems to be the hope of the highest bidder. On December 04, 2018, Lagos state commissioner of police, Edgal Imohimi paraded hip-hop musician Small Doctor and three others for illegal possession of a firearm and for threatening a police officer with a gun. He was arraigned before a magistrate the next day and was told to “go and sin no more” by the Magistrate despite the veracity of his offence.
On December 9, 2018, the police in Lagos arrested six supporters of the Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore. According to the police, the six persons were arrested for allegedly tearing the posters of the Governorship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje. They were subsequently arraigned at a Magistrate court and sent to prison. Apart from the inhuman treatment meted out to these individuals whereby they were chained hands and feet, the judiciary has displayed through this case that it’s no longer the hope of a common man.
If truly these individuals were caught tearing posters, does it warrant an arraignment when they could have been cautioned?
This maltreatment of Sowore supporters is being coordinated by the Nigeria Police with the support of the judiciary which appears to be pandering to the whims of the rich and famous. If Small Doctor can be freed for a criminal offence bothering on illegal possession of firearms and threatening an officer of the law, why will Sowore supporters be remanded in prison for allegedly tearing posters? There’s a need for an urgent refom of Nigeria’s judiciary. It is stinking.